In a couple of weeks Maria will be 6 years old. I know it’s cliche but I feel like she’s growing up really fast. I recently watched some videos that my friend Juliana took of her from when we lived in Itacare, Brazil. Maria was Eliza’s age when we moved back to the States. Maybe I’m just feeling nostalgic for baby Maria, but the feeling that I have is that she has just gone about her business growing up and turning into this fascinating little being, and it happened and is happening so fast.
Enzo has a reputation for being smart and Maria not so much. But truthfully Maria is brilliant! She is witty, and observant and just knows what’s up. She has an opinion about everything. She has an amazing vocabulary. She is very very clever.
She figured out that Santa was made up when she saw my chatbook that had a picture of her dad assembling her Christmas present (oops!). She told me about the picture and said “I never believed anyway, but let’s not say anything because Enzo still believes.”
Recently her reading skills have skyrocketed. I asked her why that was and she said “now that I’m learning Hawaiian I need more space in my brain, so I need to get reading out of the way.”
Maria is practical.
Yesterday she took her money to school for the bookfair. She came back and said “I didn’t get any books at the bookfair, I know they’re cheaper on Amazon. BUT, I did buy 5 sharpened pencils. I found the kid in my class with the best pencil sharpener and paid him to sharpen my pencils. I’m glad I took my money to school today.”
Maria wants an American Girl doll for her birthday. When I asked her if she REALLY wanted that and if she thought she would play with it and told her that spending $100 on a doll would significantly reduce her birthday budget she said, “no, what I really want is a puppy but since you won’t get me a puppy I figured if would ask for the most expensive toy then you might consider just getting me a puppy.”
She wants to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints when she grows up but ONLY if she exclusively teaches animals, no humans.
On that note she doesn’t want to get married or have children, she plans on having lots of cats. She does however, encourage Enzo to have lots of kids because she wants to live close to his family when she grows up.
She is good at organizing but not great at cleaning. She likes to write but doesn’t like to draw. Her favorite color is the rainbow. She can count to 20 in Hawaiian, English, Portuguese, and has requested that I teach her how to speak Spanish.
You could hug her all day and she would still be fine with more. She is very verbally demonstrative. She loves one on one time.
She loves playing with older kids but practices her leadership skills on younger ones.
She wants her hair to be long. She only wears skirts or dresses. She loves climbing on trees and going barefoot.
When she grows up she wants to be a scientist that studies animals. She enjoys non-fiction books. Biographies are her favorite. We talk a lot about race, gender, and inequality and she gets it.
I asked her “Maria how do you say ______ in Hawaiian?” and she said “You need to stop saying Hawaiian it’s haVAi. If you keep saying Hawaiian it’s offensive.”
Everyday she prays for her grandma in Brazil. Whenever I’m on the phone or skype with a friend or family member she also wants to talk to them. She is very outgoing, but she likes to remind me that sometimes she feels shy.
She is fun and funny. She is loving and kind. She likes to share and give presents.
She was one of my greatest gifts. When she was born she transformed me from a woman who felt overwhelmed with just one child to the mother I wanted to be.